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Toward A Unified Theory Of Access To Local Telephone Systems, Daniel F. Spulber, Christopher S. Yoo Dec 2008

Toward A Unified Theory Of Access To Local Telephone Systems, Daniel F. Spulber, Christopher S. Yoo

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One of the most distinctive developments in telecommunications policy over the past few decades has been the increasingly broad array of access requirements regulatory authorities have imposed on local telephone providers. In so doing, policymakers did not fully consider whether the justifications for regulating telecommunications remained valid. They also allowed each access regime to be governed by its own pricing methodology and set access prices in a way that treated each network component as if it existed in isolation. The result was a regulatory regime that was internally inconsistent, vulnerable to regulatory arbitrage, and unable to capture the interactions among …


The Enduring Lessons Of The Breakup Of At&T: A Twenty-Five Year Retrospective, Christopher S. Yoo Dec 2008

The Enduring Lessons Of The Breakup Of At&T: A Twenty-Five Year Retrospective, Christopher S. Yoo

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On April 18-19, 2008, the University of Pennsylvania Law School hosted a landmark conference on “The Enduring Lessons of the Breakup of AT&T: A Twenty-Five Year Retrospective.” This conference was the first major event for Penn’s newly established Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition, a research institute committed to promoting basic research into foundational frameworks that will shape the way policymakers think about technology-related issues in the future. The breakup of AT&T represents an ideal starting point for reexamining the major themes of telecommunications policy that have emerged over the past quarter century. The conference featured a keynote address by …


The Fundamental Goal Of Antitrust: Protecting Consumers, Not Increasing Efficiency, John B. Kirkwood, Robert H. Lande Nov 2008

The Fundamental Goal Of Antitrust: Protecting Consumers, Not Increasing Efficiency, John B. Kirkwood, Robert H. Lande

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The conventional wisdom in the antitrust community is that the purpose of the antitrust laws is to promote economic efficiency. That view is incorrect. As this article shows, the fundamental goal of antitrust law is to protect consumers.

This article defines the relevant economic concepts, summarizes the legislative histories, analyzes recent case law in more depth than any prior article, and explores the most likely bases for current popular support of the antitrust laws. All these factors indicate that the ultimate goal of antitrust is not to increase the total wealth of society, but to protect consumers from behavior that …


Schumpeterian Competition And Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Oct 2008

Schumpeterian Competition And Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Joseph Schumpeter's vision of competition saw it as a destructive process in which effort, assets and fortunes were continuously destroyed by innovation. One possible implication is that antitrust's attention on short-run price and output issues is myopic: what seems at first glance to be a monopolistic exclusionary practice might really be an innovative enterprise with enormous payoffs in the long run. While this may be the case, three qualifications are critical. First, one must not confuse the prospect of innovation with the scope of the intellectual property laws; their excesses and special interest capture cast serious doubt on the proposition …


The Walker Process Doctrine: Infringement Lawsuits As Antitrust Violations, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Sep 2008

The Walker Process Doctrine: Infringement Lawsuits As Antitrust Violations, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Antitrust law's Walker Process doctrine permits a patent infringement defendant to show that an improperly maintained infringement action constitutes unlawful monopolization or an unlawful attempt to monopolize. The infringement defendant must show both that the lawsuit is improper, which establishes the conduct portion of the violation and generally satisfies tort law requirements, and also that the structural prerequisites for the monopolization offense are present. The doctrine also applies to non-patent infringement actions and has been applied by the Supreme Court to copyright infringement actions. Walker Process itself somewhat loosely derives from the Supreme Court's Noerr-Pennington line of cases holding that …


Is Europe Unfairly Attacking Another U.S. High Technology Company?, Robert H. Lande Sep 2008

Is Europe Unfairly Attacking Another U.S. High Technology Company?, Robert H. Lande

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This short piece considers whether the EU antitrust action against Intel constitutes an example of European regulators attacking a successful US company in order to protect a European competitor, or whether it instead is an example of legitimate law enforcement.


World War 4.0: The Intel Antitrust Wars, Robert H. Lande Jul 2008

World War 4.0: The Intel Antitrust Wars, Robert H. Lande

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This short piece gives an overview of antitrust actions filed around the world against Intel for allegedly undertaking anticompetitive actions in the market for X 86 PC chips.


Unilateral Refusals To Deal, Vertical Integration, And The Essential Facility Doctrine, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jul 2008

Unilateral Refusals To Deal, Vertical Integration, And The Essential Facility Doctrine, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Where it applies, the essential facility doctrine requires a monopolist to share its "essential facility." Since the only qualifying exclusionary practice is the refusal to share the facility itself, the doctrine comes about as close as antitrust ever does to condemning "no fault" monopolization. There is no independent justification for an essential facility doctrine separate and apart from general Section 2 doctrine governing the vertically integrated monopolist's refusal to deal. In its Trinko decision the Supreme Court placed that doctrine about where it should be. The Court did not categorically reject all unilateral refusal to deal claims, but it placed …


The Antitrust Standard For Unlawful Exclusionary Conduct, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jun 2008

The Antitrust Standard For Unlawful Exclusionary Conduct, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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This essay considers the general definition of unlawful exclusionary practices under Section 2 of the Sherman Act as acts that: (1) are reasonably capable of creating, enlarging or prolonging monopoly power by impairing the opportunities of rivals; and (2) that either (2a) do not benefit consumers at all, or (2b) are unnecessary for the particular consumer benefits claimed for them, or (2c) produce harms disproportionate to any resulting benefits. An important purpose of this progression of queries is to permit the court to avoid balancing, although balancing certainly cannot be avoided in some close cases. The given definition is very …


Patent Deception In Standard Setting: The Case For Antitrust Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp May 2008

Patent Deception In Standard Setting: The Case For Antitrust Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Many patent applications are rejected upon initial submission, but they are almost never rejected with absolute finality. Further, subsequent to filing its original application a patent applicant might wish to write an application with broader or somewhat different claims, or perhaps add claims that were not made in the original application. Or it may wish to rewrite claims that had been rejected in the original application. A patent "continuation" is an application for additional claims made on a patent that was previously applied for.

Under generally accepted patent practices in the United States, when a subsequent continuation or divisional application …


The Microsoft-Yahoo Merger: Yes, Privacy Is An Antitrust Concern, Robert H. Lande Feb 2008

The Microsoft-Yahoo Merger: Yes, Privacy Is An Antitrust Concern, Robert H. Lande

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Privacy and antitrust? Isn't antitrust only supposed to be concerned with price? Well, no. Antitrust is actually about consumer choice, and price is only one type of choice. The ultimate purpose of the antitrust laws is to help ensure that the free market will bring to consumers everything they want from competition. This starts with competitive prices, of course, but consumers also want an optimal level of variety, innovation, quality, and other forms of non-price competition. Including, in the Google-Doubleclick and Microsoft-Yahoo transactions, privacy protection.


Market Power Without A Large Market Share: The Role Of Imperfect Information And Other “Consumer Protection” Market Failures, Robert H. Lande Jan 2008

Market Power Without A Large Market Share: The Role Of Imperfect Information And Other “Consumer Protection” Market Failures, Robert H. Lande

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There are two very different sources of market power in antitrust cases. The first is traditional market share-based market power. Market power in antitrust cases also can come from deception, significantly imperfect or asymmetric information, or other types of market failures that usually are associated with consumer protection violations.

When these “consumer protection” market failures are present in antitrust cases, market power can arise even if no firm has a market share large enough for a finding of traditional market share based market power. However, instead of traditional end-use consumers being harmed, the direct victims are businesses.

The “consumer protection” …


Policy And Methods: Choices For Legislatures, James Maxeiner Jan 2008

Policy And Methods: Choices For Legislatures, James Maxeiner

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The legal methods through which one adopts and implements policy decisions profoundly affect the compatibility of policy implementation with democratic legitimacy and legal certainty of the rule of law. Indeed, the choice of legal methods can be as important as the formulation of the policy itself. While a good choice of methods will not heal a bad policy, it can help assure that a less-than-perfect choice of policy can be more forcefully realized than otherwise, it can also help improve the policy choices made and help protect democratic legitimacy and the rule of law. While deficiencies in legislation or in …


The Chicago School's Foundation Is Flawed: Antitrust Protects Consumers, John B. Kirkwood, Robert H. Lande Jan 2008

The Chicago School's Foundation Is Flawed: Antitrust Protects Consumers, John B. Kirkwood, Robert H. Lande

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Chicago School antitrust policy rests on the premise that the purpose of the antitrust laws is to promote economic efficiency. That foundation is flawed. The fundamental goal of antitrust law is to protect consumers.

This essay defines the relevant economic concepts, summarizes the legislative histories, and analyzes recent case law. All these factors indicate that the ultimate goal of antitrust is not to increase the total wealth of society, but to protect consumers from behavior that deprives them of the benefits of competition and transfers their wealth to firms with market power. When conduct presents a conflict between the welfare …


Cartel Overcharges And Optimal Cartel Fines, John M. Connor, Robert H. Lande Jan 2008

Cartel Overcharges And Optimal Cartel Fines, John M. Connor, Robert H. Lande

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This Article examines whether the current penalties in the United States Sentencing Guidelines are set at the appropriate levels to deter illegal price fixing cartels optimally. The authors analyze two data sets to determine how high on average cartels raise prices. The first consists of every published scholarly economic study of the effects of cartels on prices in individual cases. The second consists of every final verdict in a U.S. antitrust case in which a neutral finder of fact reported collusive overcharges. They report average overcharges of 49% and 31% for the two data sets, and median overcharges of 25% …


Innovation And The Domain Of Competition Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2008

Innovation And The Domain Of Competition Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Antitrust policy and the IP laws are both concerned with practices that restrain competition unnecessarily by reducing the size of the public domain beyond that which the Constitution contemplates, or as Congress intended for them to be expanded. In fact, antitrust has a dual role as promoter of competition in IP intensive markets. It regulates both restraints on competition and restraints on innovation. The first line protector of the competitive process in innovation is the IP statutes themselves. The Constitutional Mandate to Congress to create intellectual property regimes in order to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts is …


Exclusionary Bundled Discounts And The Antitrust Modernization Commission, Erik Hovenkamp, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2008

Exclusionary Bundled Discounts And The Antitrust Modernization Commission, Erik Hovenkamp, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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A bundled discount occurs when a seller charges less for a bundle of goods than for its components when sold separately. A characteristic of such discounting is that a rival who makes only one of the products in the bundle may have to give a larger per item discount in order to compensate the buyer for the foregone discount on goods that the rival does not sell. For example, if I sell A and B and offer a 20% discount only to customers who purchase one A and one B together, a rival in the B market might be able …


The Intellectual Property-Antitrust Interface, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2008

The Intellectual Property-Antitrust Interface, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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This historical overview examines the relationship between antitrust policy and intellectual property in the United States since 1890. Over most of this history, judges imagined far greater conflicts between antitrust policy and intellectual property rights than actually existed, or else relied on sweeping generalizations rather than close analysis. For example, they often assumed that the presence of an intellectual property right led to anticompetitive effects where there was no basis for finding any injury to competition at all. At the other extreme, they often concluded that an intellectual property right immunized seriously anticompetitive conduct even when the intellectual property statute …